An affair with mountains (Chopta , Auli)

12th Feb 2017

I always feel inclined towards mountain as if they are calling me. Okay, so it was November 2016 when I was randomly searching travelling channels on YouTube, and found a few channel very interesting. One of them was Chandan Prakash. I saw some of his videos of Auli Chopta and I was so amazed after watching them. So I decided that I am going there at any cost. For 1 week I did all the research about Auli Chopta and learnt so many facts about it , thus I was unable to stop myself . Therefore, I decided to ask my school friends for this trek. It was December so we thought that why not start a new year in this amazing place but somethings got out of the hand and due to some problems, the whole plan got cancelled; and that too at the last moment. I felt that whole momentum was breaking but as they say, where there is a will there is a way, so a few days after i.e. on 26th January, my friend Nikita texted me that she wanted to go to Auli with her friends and asked me about all the budget and stuff. When I was done telling her everything she suddenly out of nowhere asked me to join them. There was this spark in my eyes that lit again but from inside I was still scared that this plan might also get cancelled but still keeping my hopes high, I accepted her invitation and we randomly decided 12th February as the day of our departure from Delhi. A few days passed in all the madness of arranging​ the things, packing the bags again, assuring all of them that it's going to be fun and I even asked my school friends again to join me. Three of them agreed and the day of triumph finally came. In the end we all were seven people in total i.e. Me, Nikita, Gargi, Priyanka, Devrat, Amit and Sombir. We all met at Kashmiri Gate as we didn't confirm any tickets before due to the dicey nature of our plan as I was so unsure that this plan will actually execute till the last moment also we thought it will be an adventurous thing to randomly go there. We took a bus on 12th night and reached Rishikesh and from there real adventure started. It was not an adventure to be honest as autowala told us that he will book a cab for us but since we are students and our budget was not high so we thought of taking a bus instead and reached somewhere near Ukhimath and after deboarding the bus we thought of taking a taxi to Chopta but we forgot that there were elections those days and all the taxis were busy in campaigning and the ones which were there; were charging very high prices. So after a little bit of bargaining we reached Chopta at around 5 p.m. The weather and the scenery was breath taking as there was patches of snow on the way. We got so excited for the next day trek from Chopta to Chandershilla. At night we had our dinner near a bonfire. I couldn't sleep due to excitement but it was necessary for me to sleep because the coming day requires a lot of my energy. Next morning I woke up at around 3 a.m. and after waiting for around an hour I finally went outside to enjoy the mesmerizing view. I came back at around 5 a.m. and we all had our breakfast at 7:30 am. We started our trek at 8:30 a.m. Our hotel was only 2 km away from the trek place. The scenes in the way were so amazing that anyone call fall in love with them. We reached at the main gate from where the trek to Tungnath and Chandershilla actually starts and we started it by clicking a selfie. We didn't have any trekking gear with us so we took some branches of trees. We just walked for around half km and 2-3 friends of mine started panting and suggested to take a break. We were walking on Snow and almost everyone was slipping on it except for me as I have the advantage of being a 'Pahadi boy'. We reached Tungnath and I can't tell you about the scenic beauty we experienced there. Everyone was so awestruck that they started taking pictures. I asked them that we should start moving towards Chandrashilla. Nikita, Priyanka and Dev gave up and the remaining including me started moving towards our next destination. Almost after 1 hour, we were there finally. The whole place was covered with snow including the mountains around Chandrashilla. It was like heaven, all pure and beautiful place. After spending some time there, we started descending back to Tungnath. When we reached there my other friends which were left behind were so angry with us as we took quite much time.When we finally reached at our hotel all of us were so tired and dehydrated as we consumed all the water at Tungnath. We asked the hotel staff to arrange for a taxi but all in vain. Finally I saw a taxi and stopped it but it was all packed with passengers. I requested the driver to comeback and take us to Auli. Initially he said no but after much begging; he agreed. He said he will be back by 8 p.m. so I went back to hotel. It was 6:30 p.m., had Maggie in the dinner and packed our bags and left for Auli. We reached Auli at around 1 a.m. and since I confirmed our booking we reached our campsite directly without any further hindrance. We ate Maggie near bonfire and then left for our tents to sleep. I hardly slept for half and hour that morning​ and around 4 a.m. I woke up and went for a walk nearby. That's the thing about mountains, the scenic view never disappoints you. The natural beauty specially at Nanda Devi was stupendous. Auli is actually known for its view of mount Nanda Devi so without wasting much time, at around 11 a.m. we started our trek to Gorsan Bugyal. We tried to capture beautiful mountains in our camera. After reaching there we had some snacks, played with snow and made a bonfire as it was quite cold there and it was an open grassland. We spent the night there only. Next morning we started ascending near the Gorsan top and in between we also tried skiing. When we finally reached there we realized why Auli is called Mini Switzerland of India. Wherever we can see, only snow covered mountains were visible. It was such an eye feast. After consuming all the beauty in our mind and heart we finally started descending as we have to leave Auli by next day. We came back by chairlift, visited an ancient lord Hanuman Temple and finally reached our base camp. We had our dinner but none of us wanted to sleep. Our tent's owner obliged that we should sleep as tomorrow is gonna be a long day for us. We went inside our tent at 1 a.m., wake up at around 4 a.m. because there was only one bus in the morning from Auli to Rishikesh at 5 a.m. we reached Rishikesh by 2:30 p.m. During the journey, I thought of doing river rafting and my friends agreed so it was an instant plan but totally worth. I called a friend of mine who own a business of these stuffs at Rishikesh and we did Rafting and cliff jumping. After all these adventurous sports, we feed ourselves with Maggie again and explored Rishikesh till 9 p.m. and then boarded on a bus towards Delhi at around 10 p.m. and reached home at 5 a.m. Some people thinks that it's all stupid but my point here is, why stay serious all the time? Why not do some stupidity in life and enjoy the time we spend being ourselves? Everyone has a different idea of adventure. This was mine. And I would love to do it again and again.

Photo of An affair with mountains (Chopta , Auli) 1/10 by Kanak Joshi
Photo of An affair with mountains (Chopta , Auli) 2/10 by Kanak Joshi
Photo of An affair with mountains (Chopta , Auli) 3/10 by Kanak Joshi
Photo of An affair with mountains (Chopta , Auli) 4/10 by Kanak Joshi
Photo of An affair with mountains (Chopta , Auli) 5/10 by Kanak Joshi
Photo of An affair with mountains (Chopta , Auli) 6/10 by Kanak Joshi
Photo of An affair with mountains (Chopta , Auli) 7/10 by Kanak Joshi
Photo of An affair with mountains (Chopta , Auli) 8/10 by Kanak Joshi
Photo of An affair with mountains (Chopta , Auli) 9/10 by Kanak Joshi
Photo of An affair with mountains (Chopta , Auli) 10/10 by Kanak Joshi